So I’m totally participating in NaNoWriMo this year, which is terrifying but also exciting. I’m using it as a practice run to get better at the physical aspect involving writing a story. Plot creation, hammering out components, character development–I’ve gotten really good at doing that in my head, to the point where it feels like I’ve already written (or already read) the novel I was thinking of. Actual pen to paper? Harder, unless I’m sketching my outline. I’m working on piecing together a few short stories I’ve sketched in the past to create a novel, and when I wrote my title I felt exceedingly guilty about offending the Saras in my life. Particularly since one is participating in the endeavor with me. Awkward…. I hammered out an overly-pretentious Authors Note as my intro, and thought I’d share that with you guys for today. I figure as a level of accountability, I’ll try to share updated excerpts on Fridays. Thoughts? Or are you all screaming in your heads Oh dear god please no?
Author Notes are boring, I know, and a bit dull. I don’t recommend reading them—not ever, including this one. Unless your name happens to be Sara, and you’re even a tad bit curious about why I’ve invested so much time in imaging your death in so many ways. Because then you might want to stay in this section of the book for a while longer. I promise I’ll explain. However if your name is Catalina Rosamund Marie Josephson, you should definitely just skip ahead to the story. I’m sorry.
It’s nothing personal against you, I promise. I don’t even know you unless you count the two Sara(h)s I am on familiar grounds with. Three, actually, if you count an oversized plush doll I loved immensely when I was in the five-ish-year-old age range.
The name Sara, and I do apologize for the large amount of potential upcoming offenses, always struck me as plain. It is a simple name lending itself to no obvious nicknames, and it’s rather common. There are a lot of Sara(h)s out there.
It’s rude and insensitive, yes, but really that’s the best part. I thought of this novel a long time ago in bits and pieces—I kept thinking of these bizarre and dangerous opportunities of otherworldliness to happen to all these faceless, nameless, soul-less unwritten characters. I was using the name Sara as a placeholder for all these girls when it finally occurred to me. There was only one girl these events kept happening to, and her name was Sara.
Sara isn’t a boring, uninspired name, but rather, it’s a blank canvas. Girls with fancy, elaborate names that can be dissected into an endless number of nicknames, well, their names are too full of fantasy stories that are already written. Catalina Rosamund-Marie Josephson can’t have the same adventures as a Sara, the kind of adventures filled with unexpectedness and twists and magic. Catalina Rosa-whatever will have an epic fantasy, sure, but it’s already been written, and it’s a bit expected. You meet someone with a name out of a book, and you’re not surprised when their life is amazing and complicated. In fact, you can probably already guess their ending.
Saras of the world, you are the blank canvasses with the freedoms and liberties in your awesome selves. You will not be trapped within one novel—there is no one fantasy that can contain your name. You can devour all the magic and intrigue that authors have to offer, and then jump straight to the screenwriters without batting an eye.
Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo this year? Or have done it in the past? My first day ended strong, so I’m feeling optimistic.